Are to Cicadas
Ruth Lunt writes about joys and sorrows within her family and in the world at large. She writes about nature observed in her garden and as far away as Alaska. She writes about living with ovarian cancer, the disease that took her life in 2001. Ruth opens her life to us through the beauty of her poetry and we are enriched.
Kath Anderson, Ruth's mentor and friend, has selected some of her poems and organized them into sections for this publication. The poems are as Ruth wrote them with the exception of Only Just Arrived at a Brisk Rolling Boil, which Ruth had not finished revising, and the changes here are small.
Kath Anderson's love for Ruth and her professional touch have made possible this wonderful volume.
Ruth belonged to that odd category of person known as the “serious” poet. I don't think she ever earned even part of her living by writing-or by teaching writing, as is more often the case, nor was she an oft-published poet. But she took seriously this occupation, fraught with dabblers, confused by nineteenth century romantic notions of meaning or academic ambition. She wrote with serious attention to her life and to the possibility of threading it through and through with understanding, what Ferlinghetti called “lyric intelligence,” though it was threaded also with many other things: her garden, her family and friends, her cats, the restless set of ideas that flooded daily through conversation, the NY Times or other readings, or travels. She was ferocious, she took on everything, she tried every new tack, she read ambitiously, she worried, she revised relentlessly-all with fierceness that belied her lovely, small, silver-haired, soft-spoken exterior. That serious intent is the gift in her poems-that, and invention, grit alongside delicacy, insight, song and delight.
At age 54 Ruth Lunt wrote her first poem. Since her retirement in 1992 as a Librarian at Rochester Institute of Technology she has made poetry her central endeavor, mainly through workshops and poet groups connected with Writers & Books, Rochester's Literary Center. She has published in Lake Affect, Desperate Act, City, and Writers and Books Anthology.
In her poetry she writes about joys and sorrows within her family and in the world at large. She writes about nature observed in her garden and as far away as Alaska. She writes about living with ovarian cancer, the disease that took her life in 200l. She opens her life to us through the beauty of her poetry and we are enriched.
From the Book:
AS QUARKS ARE TO CICIDAS
With wrinkled nose distaste, the children
bring me the litter of split cicada husks,
arms' length delivery on forked leaves.
As they flee, I study the perfect bodyshells:
legs in delicate articulation -
multi-faceted protruding eyes -
exterior detail so complete it could be cast
from ashen Pompeian bodymolds.
But this is not Reconstruction
and this is not Death.
With life flown singing into trees,
this is Undeath.
These surgically clean gashes down each back
expose an interior nothingness
as amazing as
the magnetic tracks of subatomic particles
caught on photoplates,
faint proofs of the unseeable,
this left emptiness
our closest sighting of soul's passage.
AS QUARKS ARE TO CICIDAS
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